‘You may lift your lanterns … it will still be night!’

This is the house.  On one side there is darkness,
On one side there is light.
Into the darkness you may lift your lanterns—
O, any number—it will still be night.
And here are echoing stairs to lead you downward
To long sonorous halls.
And here is spring forever at these windows,
With roses on the walls.

Words from Conrad Aiken’s ‘House of Dust’. Thinking of Western politicians, even should they suddenly champion the light in 2023, it is, sadly, too late.

Music, a sudden glissando, sinister, troubled,
A drift of wind-torn petals, before him passes
Down jangled streets, and dies.
The bodies of old and young, of maimed and lovely,
Are slowly borne to earth, with a dirge of cries.

Down cobbled streets they come; down huddled stairways;
Through silent halls; through carven golden doorways;
From freezing rooms as bare as rock.
The curtains are closed across deserted windows.
Earth streams out of the shovel …

Conrad Aiken 1889-1973

“The stag has chosen me” – Alina Starkov (Shadow and Bone, Season II now on Netflix).

While the Shadow & Bone adaptation doesn’t spend too much time on the history of the Stag, the novels clearly outline its importance to the Ravka people. It is an ancient and white, glowing stag that only appears at twilight. The Stag can talk and even grant wishes to those who capture it. Because of its magical qualities, the Stag was believed to be a myth by the Ravka’. (Brynne Ramella 28.04.21) .

Jessie Mei Li born in Brighton 1995 to an English mother and a Hong Kong Chinese father. Li was diagnosed with ADHA in early adulthood.

Fortress of War (2010) on Amazon Prime. 1941, with similar dynamics in Europe 2023. Watch and …

True to life? Yes, sadly.

The Brest Fortress was the first military site in the Soviet Union to be hit by the German army on 22 June 22 1941. Completely cut off from the main forces, its 9,000-strong garrison put up fierce resistance for more than a week. Individual soldiers continued to fight almost until the end of July.

The movie was shot jointly by Russian and Belarusian filmmakers. During the shooting, which took place on the territory of the original fortress, the remains of Soviet soldiers, unexploded bombs and shells were discovered.

The film is told from the perspective of an old man telling his grandson about the battle that he had lived through whilst the same age as his grandson. The main character ( at the time of the battle) is an orphan who lives in the Fortress with his older brother, both are in the Red Army .

DIRECTOR: Aleksandr Kott was born on 22 February 1973 in Moscow, USSR [now Russia]. He is a director and producer, known for Test (2014), Fotograf (1998) and Insayt (2015). He is married to Anna Tsukanova-Kott. They have one child.

Aleksandr has a twin brother, Vladimir, who is also director and writer.